News Roundup: Texas Proposes New Regulations For Hemp Products, Worrying Cannabis Advocates

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartApril 16, 2018 2:09 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

 The Texas Department of State Health Services has laid out a new proposal that could see many hemp products being pulled from shelves.

Under the proposal, any hemp product labeled as containing cannabidiol – commonly known as CBD – would be subject to inspection. If found to contain “enhanced levels” of the compound, it would be detained, shipped back to the manufacturer, or destroyed.

CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp and marijuana products. Though it’s considered a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration, CBD is non-psychoactive, and is used by some people as a supplement for a variety of supposed health benefits.

Lara Anton is a spokesperson with the Texas Department of State Health Services. She says that the proposal just formalizes existing rules.

“It’s not a new rule,” Anton says. “It’s not part of a formal rulemaking process. This is just for us to get feedback from the public on shaping our policy on how we’re going to enforce the currently existing law.”

However, cannabis advocates, like Connor Oakley of the Medical Cannabis Association of Texas, are concerned that the proposal would amount to a ban on hemp-derived CBD oil, which unlike marijuana-derived CBD, is available over-the-counter.

“We think that this is very unnecessary,” Oakley says, “and we also think a decision of this magnitude shouldn’t be made without consulting the legislature.”

The proposal has not yet been approved. DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt is expected to make a decision at a later date.

Teenagers in Texas foster care are five times more likely to become pregnant than other teens in the state, according to a new study.

KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports:

Kate Murphy works on Child Welfare Policies for Texans Care for Children. That’s the group that conducted the study. Murphy says her research found state lawmakers have a lot of work to do to prevent pregnancy among teens in foster care. Murphy says caseworkers could also be better about telling foster teens, who are all on Medicaid, that they have access to birth control. And they don’t need parental consent to get it. Another thing Murphy says she found is that not all of these teen girls are getting pregnant by accident.

“A lot of them feel unloved – girls and boys – a lot of them feel unloved,” Murphy says. “And they want a family. And they don’t have loving supportive relationships. And this is a way for them to build a family that they feel like they are missing, or a way to try to get that love in their life that they are craving.”

Murphy says in those cases, which are just a couple hundred teen girls, the state should be doing more to support them and their child.

An electric guitar once played by blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughn fetched $250,000 at an auction in Dallas this weekend.

The 1951 Fender was used in Vaughn’s first studio recordings and early performances. SRV biographer Craig Hopkins said the guitar has “considerable historical significance”.

The winning bidder didn’t wish to be immediately identified.